The Nation News Online has posted an interview with the Chairman of World Cup Barbados, Chris deCaires. Not much to it. The Nation spent fully two-thirds of the article on the “ten-dollar-a-day” Indian labourers who ended up being deported last November after finding themselves living in shipping containers.
The article does contain a few interesting gems though.
(Oh, sorry… should have said “a few interesting quotes”. For whatever reason, some people are so sensitive to that “gems” word.)
Here are a few interesting quotes by Mr. deCaires in the article…
In response to the question, “Do you have a construction schedule that can be shared?”…
“We will soon be putting up timelines and deadlines for all to see.”
(BFP Comment: For those who need an interpretation, that means “No.”)
On Prime Minister Arthur taking charge…
“One of the reasons the PM has to move heaven and earth is because we are in the last 52 weeks and not on schedule.”
“This is a very important matter and I believe Barbados is seen to be in a strong position in this area. However, it is a highly confidential area and I would not like to go into any details here.”
(BFP Comment: Good for you, Mr. deCaires. That was an entirely proper answer – security specifics are none of the media’s business. By the way, Mr. deCaires, we hope you read our article “Cricket World Cup 2007 Prepares For Muslim Terror Threat – But Anti-U.S. Bias Weakens Security Effort”)
On the shortfall in accommodations…
“A number of cruise ships are under discussion and this will help to bridge the gap.”
Will Barbados be Ready?
It will be lots of hard work, lots of overtime, but there are many, many people working many, many hours to get it done. We have no option, we have to get it done. All I can say to Barbados and others is: “We will be ready.”
These mega-projects (Olympics, World Cups, etc) always seem to be behind schedule. With few exceptions, the host countries successfully rise to the occasion – and we anticipate that Barbados will do the same.
We caution though, that it is always during the last six-month big push when the cost-overrun abuses and large scale frauds take place.
And so it starts…
Note the use of the phrases by Chairman deCaires “Lots of Overtime” and “We have no option, we have to get it done.”
The world is full of host countries and cities that are still paying for their circuses a decade later. They have also discovered that the hoped for (and always promised) “increase in tourism” is an elusive creature that seldom shows itself enough to justify the cost of the big event – especially if costs are allowed to run wild during the rush to finish in time.
Chris deCaires is a hard-working chap, and he is showing that he can be innovative in meeting the challenges – for instance, calling in cruise ships to provide the much needed, but temporary, accomodations boost. He has also shown that he knows that Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough.
But who will monitor and control the costs? Who will say “no” to Mr. deCaires when it needs to be said?
We know who will eventually end up paying for it all… and will still be paying for it long after the cheers fade: ordinary everyday Bajans who may not even be able to afford to see a single game.